Research Summary

Dr. Yan Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. Dr. Li received her medical degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, Master of Science in Biochemistry from McGill University in Canada, and Ph.D. from the UCSF/UC Berkeley Joint Graduate Program in Bioengineering.

Dr. Yan Li’s research focuses on developing methods for obtaining reliable metabolic information from the brain to characterize spatial and temporal heterogeneity and the biological behavior during disease time for brain tumors, psychiatric and neurologic diseases. This includes the development of new methods for obtaining whole-brain metabolites and tools for generating metrics of brain neurotransmitters using 3T and 7T MR scanners, implementation of statistical methods to relate metabolic metrics to clinical outcome or measures, and integrating steady-state 1H metabolic imaging with PET, hyperpolarized 13C and advanced MR imaging parameters in order to elucidate the underlying normal and abnormal biological process.

Research Funding

  • July 15, 2017 - June 30, 2019 - Simultaneous multi-slice GABA-edited MRSI in the developing brain, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R21HD092660
  • July 15, 2017 - June 30, 2019 - Simultaneous multi-slice GABA-edited MRSI in the developing brain, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R21HD092660
  • July 15, 2017 - June 30, 2019 - Simultaneous multi-slice GABA-edited MRSI in the developing brain, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R21HD092660
  • July 15, 2017 - June 30, 2019 - Simultaneous multi-slice GABA-edited MRSI in the developing brain, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R21HD092660


Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, MD/BM, 08/2002, Clinical Medicine
McGill University, QC, Canada, MS, 10/2004, Biochemistry
UC Berkeley/UCSF, CA, USA, PhD, 06/2008, Bioengineer

Honors & Awards

  • 2002-2003
    Graduate Studies Fellowship, McGill
  • 2004-2005
    Graduate Dean Fellowship, UCSF
  • 2007
    Graduate Student Research Award, UCSF
  • 2007-2008
    Krevans Graduate Research Fellowship, UCSF
  • 2008
    Margaret Heart Surbeck Scholar Award, UCSF

Selected Publications

  1. Sana Vaziri, Yaewon Kim, Adam Autry, Hsin-Yu Chen, Jeremy Gordon, Marisa LaFontaine, Jasmine Hu, Janine Lupo, Jennifer Clarke, Javier Villanueva-Meyer, Nancy Ann Oberheim-Bush, Susan Chang, Duan Xu, Peder Larson, Daniel Vigneron, Yan Li. NIMG-21. VARIABLE RESOLUTION HYPERPOLARIZED [2-13C]PYRUVATE MRI IN HEALTHY VOLUNTEERS AND PATIENTS WITH IDH-MUTANT GLIOMA. Neuro-Oncology. 2021 Nov 12; 23(Supplement_6):vi132-vi132.  View on PubMed
  2. Jacob Ellison, Francesco Caliva, Pablo Damasceno, Tracy Luks, Marisa LaFontaine, Yan Li, Valentina Pedoia, Javier Villanueva-Meyer, Janine Lupo. NIMG-26. IMPROVING THE GENERALIZABILITY OF DEEP LEARNING FOR T2-LESION SEGMENTATION OF GLIOMAS IN THE POST-TREATMENT SETTING. Neuro-Oncology. 2021 Nov 12; 23(Supplement_6):vi134-vi134.  View on PubMed
  3. Adam Autry, Sana Vaziri, Marisa LaFontaine, Jeremy Gordon, Hsin-Yu Chen, Javier Villanueva-Meyer, Susan Chang, Jennifer Clarke, Duan Xu, Janine Lupo, Peder Larson, Daniel Vigneron, Yan Li. NIMG-43. ADVANCED MULTI-PARAMETRIC HYPERPOLARIZED 13C/1H IMAGING OF GBM. Neuro-Oncology. 2021 Nov 12; 23(Supplement_6):vi138-vi138.  View on PubMed
  4. Li Y, Vigneron DB, Xu D. Current human brain applications and challenges of dynamic hyperpolarized carbon-13 labeled pyruvate MR metabolic imaging. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2021 Aug 25.  View on PubMed
  5. Kim Y, Chen HY, Autry AW, Villanueva-Meyer J, Chang SM, Li Y, Larson PEZ, Brender JR, Krishna MC, Xu D, Vigneron DB, Gordon JW. Denoising of hyperpolarized 13 C MR images of the human brain using patch-based higher-order singular value decomposition. Magn Reson Med. 2021 Jun 25.  View on PubMed
  6. Autry AW, Park I, Kline C, Chen HY, Gordon JW, Raber S, Hoffman C, Kim Y, Okamoto K, Vigneron DB, Lupo JM, Prados M, Li Y, Xu D, Mueller S. Pilot Study of Hyperpolarized 13C Metabolic Imaging in Pediatric Patients with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma and Other CNS Cancers. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2021 01; 42(1):178-184.  View on PubMed
  7. Gordon JW, Autry AW, Tang S, Graham JY, Bok RA, Zhu X, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Li Y, Ohilger MA, Abraham MR, Xu D, Vigneron DB, Larson PEZ. A variable resolution approach for improved acquisition of hyperpolarized 13 C metabolic MRI. Magn Reson Med. 2020 12; 84(6):2943-2952.  View on PubMed
  8. Autry AW, Gordon JW, Chen HY, LaFontaine M, Bok R, Van Criekinge M, Slater JB, Carvajal L, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Chang SM, Clarke JL, Lupo JM, Xu D, Larson PEZ, Vigneron DB, Li Y. Characterization of serial hyperpolarized 13C metabolic imaging in patients with glioma. Neuroimage Clin. 2020; 27:102323.  View on PubMed
  9. Crane JC, Gordon JW, Chen HY, Autry AW, Li Y, Olson MP, Kurhanewicz J, Vigneron DB, Larson PEZ, Xu D. Hyperpolarized 13 C MRI data acquisition and analysis in prostate and brain at University of California, San Francisco. NMR Biomed. 2021 05; 34(5):e4280.  View on PubMed
  10. Pavithra Viswanath, Yan Li, Sabrina M. Ronen. C-13 Hyperpolarized MR Spectroscopy for Metabolic Imaging of Brain Tumors. . 2020 Jan 1; 191-209.  View on PubMed
  11. Mammoli D, Gordon J, Autry A, Larson PEZ, Li Y, Chen HY, Chung B, Shin P, Van Criekinge M, Carvajal L, Slater JB, Bok R, Crane J, Xu D, Chang S, Vigneron DB. Kinetic Modeling of Hyperpolarized Carbon-13 Pyruvate Metabolism in the Human Brain. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2020 02; 39(2):320-327.  View on PubMed
  12. Autry AW, Gordon JW, Carvajal L, Mareyam A, Chen HY, Park I, Mammoli D, Vareth M, Chang SM, Wald LL, Xu D, Vigneron DB, Nelson SJ, Li Y. Comparison between 8- and 32-channel phased-array receive coils for in vivo hyperpolarized 13 C imaging of the human brain. Magn Reson Med. 2019 08; 82(2):833-841.  View on PubMed
  13. Zhu Z, Zhu X, Ohliger MA, Tang S, Cao P, Carvajal L, Autry AW, Li Y, Kurhanewicz J, Chang S, Aggarwal R, Munster P, Xu D, Larson PEZ, Vigneron DB, Gordon JW. Coil combination methods for multi-channel hyperpolarized 13C imaging data from human studies. J Magn Reson. 2019 04; 301:73-79.  View on PubMed
  14. Yan Li and Sarah J. Nelson. Quantitative MRI of the Brain: Principles of Physical Measurement (by Mara Cercignani, Nicholas G. Dowell, Paul S. Tofts). Chapter 12: 1H Spectroscopy of the Brain. 2018.  View on PubMed
  15. Li Y, Bian W, Larson P, Crane JC, Parvathaneni P, Nagarajan S, Nelson SJ. Reliable and Reproducible GABA Measurements Using Automated Spectral Prescription at Ultra-High Field. Front Hum Neurosci. 2017; 11:506.  View on PubMed
  16. Li Y, Lafontaine M, Chang S, Nelson SJ. Comparison between Short and Long Echo Time Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging at 3T and 7T for Evaluating Brain Metabolites in Patients with Glioma. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2018 01 17; 9(1):130-137.  View on PubMed
  17. Bian W, Li Y, Crane JC, Nelson SJ. Fully automated atlas-based method for prescribing 3D PRESS MR spectroscopic imaging: Toward robust and reproducible metabolite measurements in human brain. Magn Reson Med. 2018 02; 79(2):636-642.  View on PubMed
  18. Nelson SJ, Kadambi AK, Park I, Li Y, Crane J, Olson M, Molinaro A, Roy R, Butowski N, Cha S, Chang S. Association of early changes in 1H MRSI parameters with survival for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma receiving a multimodality treatment regimen. Neuro Oncol. 2017 03 01; 19(3):430-439.  View on PubMed
  19. Nelson SJ, Li Y, Lupo JM, Olson M, Crane JC, Molinaro A, Roy R, Clarke J, Butowski N, Prados M, Cha S, Chang SM. Serial analysis of 3D H-1 MRSI for patients with newly diagnosed GBM treated with combination therapy that includes bevacizumab. J Neurooncol. 2016 10; 130(1):171-179.  View on PubMed
  20. Li Y, Jakary A, Gillung E, Eisendrath S, Nelson SJ, Mukherjee P, Luks T. Evaluating metabolites in patients with major depressive disorder who received mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and healthy controls using short echo MRSI at 7 Tesla. MAGMA. 2016 Jun; 29(3):523-33.  View on PubMed

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